While waiting for the walk sign at the crosswalk yesterday in downtown Cleveland I heard a small voice ask, “Miss, do you think you have any spare change to help?”
September 1, 2009 by 4 Comments
I admit at first, my instinct was to just ignore him like the other three that were waiting at the cross walk were doing, but then I remembered Issa and her Uncle Marky. Suddenly I was wrenched with guilt that I wasn’t even going to consider looking in his direction, even to apologize that I didn’t have anything on me.
I looked over at the sweet looking older man and said, “I am really sorry sir, but I don’t have any cash or change on me at this moment.”
Sensing that I wanted to do something. He said “That’s alright darlin’ ,but when you come back through if you have something, even a smile that would be lovely.”
After I finished my business in the bank, I took a $5 bill and cupped it in my hand. I walked over to this man and his eyes just lit up like a little kid at Christmas time when I handed it to him.
“I know it isn’t much, but I hope it helps.”
He took my hand in his. They were soft, yet calloused. He looked up at me, there were tears welling in his eyes. “Miss, what is your name?” he asked of me.
Without hesitation I replied, “Heather, my name is Heather. What is your name?”
“Well Miss Heather, my name is St. Paul. Miss Heather God Bless you, and I thank you so much for your help. Its been so cold the past couple of nights, it seems as if I have been out here forever.” he replies to me.
“St. Paul, God Bless you as well. You will be in my prayers. Take care of yourself”
“Thank you Miss Heather, thank you so much,” he says to me as he gently releases my hand.
As I walked to my van, I looked over my shoulder and look at St. Paul. He is still sitting on the corner just as peaceful as he was when I first encountered him. And then I thought of Uncle Marky again and wondered where St. Paul’s family was. How long was has St. Paul’s forever been on the streets? What happened that he was out here.
These were all questions for another day. I am not sure if I will ever see St. Paul again, but he will always be on my heart & in my mind. Thank you, Issa for opening my eyes to others around me who I might have overlooked otherwise.